Behind the Art: An Inside Look with NoHo Artist Caroline McElroy
“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”- Pablo Picasso.
Caroline McElroy, a resident of the NoHo Senior Arts Colony Apartments and the latest artist featured in the community’s newest professional art exhibition “Ways of Seeing,” is a perfect example of this.
At 63 years old, she’s constantly growing and creating art with the same enthusiasm she did as a child.
Caroline always had a knack for the arts, falling in love with collaging at a young age, she managed to keep this artistic spark alive well into adulthood.
“I first discovered this passion for collaging in high school when one of my teachers requested I create a collage for one of my class projects,” notes McElroy.
This simple assignment is primarily used by teachers to gauge a student’s perspective and understanding of simple art concepts such as spacing and form.
“Little did I know that this simple project would awaken something that would ultimately shape the rest of my artistic career,” she continues.
McElroy quickly found herself inspired and consumed by the concept of collaging. She began collaging everything in sight, including the walls of her room and her furniture.
At the time, her mother was not exactly pleased that all the furniture in the house had been collaged, but as a supportive mother, she continued to encourage Caroline to grow and develop her talent.
This continued support from her mother allowed McElroy to grow as an artist, as she transitioned from collaging furniture to creating meaningful and intricate pieces.
When creating these interesting and often thought provoking pieces, McElroy pulls her inspiration from many different sources and focuses on one theme that then reappears throughout all of her pieces in a show.
For example, her latest art show “Ways of Seeing,” which is now on display at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony Apartments Gallery, exhibits the reoccurring theme of “We shall all live again,” with many of her pieces inspired by Native American history.
These pieces demonstrate McElroy’s unique ability to take simple concepts and ideas and channel them into intricate pieces of artwork through her own unique interpretation.
This unique ability is also one of the aspects that sets McElroy apart and provides her the opportunity to share this gift with others.
McElroy teaches a collaging class at her home, the NoHo Senior Arts Colony Apartments, each week. Residents of the community gather to learn the basic principles of collaging, taking these abstract concepts and turning them into reality.
“I teach the basic principles of collaging, but also encourage my students and neighbors to be creative and think out of the box,” says McElroy. “This means that much of the artwork being created throughout the class is very diverse and eclectic,” she continues.
Many of the other residents will join in even if they are not taking the class. “They come to visit and to simply enjoy the comradery of the artists. At this community, you’re not just an observer you’re a participant,” she says. “It’s a place of possibilities and we are all just artists in residence.”
Apartments at NoHo Senior Arts Colony are now available for lease. The community is for adults age 62+ and features one-and two bedroom apartments. Art programs and social opportunities like the ones referenced above are available free of charge to our residents. The community also features on-site art openings, theatre previews and play readings by the professional Road Theatre Company. Whether you are an artist or simply take pleasure in the creativity of life, visit www.nohoseniorartscolony.com or call 855-399-5381. NOHO Senior Arts Colony is located at 10747 Magnolia Boulevard in North Hollywood, California.
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